Hello folks, how are you today? I have holidayitis as we are soon off to India to visit my mother and have a few adventures of our own, and I'm really looking forward to it. I was hoping to have a little show of my own while in India, but nothing has come together yet - however, I do have a few people lined up to come and see what I have carried with me. I never tire of taking out my pieces of jewellery to show people, and then put them away in the suitcase - it never seems like a chore. That my necklaces go to a good home, that's what I want, and I show them over and over again, quite tirelessly.
Octarine is the colour of magic - from Terry Pratchett's series of books, Discworld.
It's the eighth colour of the Discworld rainbow, sitting where we might expect ultra-violet, and it is only visible to wizards. The eyes of wizards apparently contain, besides the usual rods and cones, octagons that detect octarine. Less magically-sensitive humans can see where octarine would be, as the blackness around the edges of fire. As we can't actually see the colour, it appears as a dark hole in space.
I made a veneer using Copper acrylic paint, Kroma Krackle and alcohol inks and as the Krackle dried it separated into plaques coloured by the alcohol ink, displaying the copper paint beneath. The veneer took almost a week to dry out before I could colour it and then I made beads with it. I wanted to seal the Krackle and painted it with liquid clay and was terrified when the alcohol ink vanished, only to reappear when I cured it with a heat gun. I used every single piece of it, wrapping the last few strips around black beads.
Here then, is Octarine, the necklace I made using the beads with this veneer. The necklace has an enamelled toggle clasp - I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it and had to have a few - a pretty clasp enhances a necklace so much and I couldn't resist it.
I've been making earring components for a while now, and decided it was time to put them together. Most of the components are misshapen on purpose in the fashion of the times. They are mostly stud earrings which are trickier to make than ones that dangle from hooks, but they have a more polished dimension to them. The asymmetric vibe which is so dear to my heart and very much in fashion is in evidence in most of them in one way or another.
They are comfortable, colourful, funky, easy to wear and most importantly, different. I will launch them on the website when I get back from India. This is a sneak peek for you, my lovely readers, and I hope you like them.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a lovely week and I'll catch you soon - I'll do my best to check in each week, if not, I'll catch you when I get back home.
Hello folks, how are we today? I've been gearing up for my annual visit to India and working at all the things I need to set in motion at the day job to hold my place until I return in a few weeks. However, I still found time to play with baubles and beads. I will be carrying some of my choicest pieces back to Bangalore and have invited a few of my favourite people to come and see them.
The title refers to the butterflies which are a focal point of this necklace. It is a deceptively simple piece, with faceted onyx beads, a diamante clasp and the butterflies. I won't say any more about it, and leave you to make up your own mind. I think you'll agree with me that it is a beauty.
This necklace sprang from a visit to the Jangchub Ling Buddhist Centre in Stratford Upon Avon. It is a very peaceful place where they teach meditation to anyone who would like to get away from the hustle and bustle of life and living. I got talking to one of the teachers, who is also a monk and we talked about Caprilicious, among other things. I learned to knot pearls a long time ago, but found it a tedious activity. I felt sufficiently enthused to come back home and make a meditative mala necklace.
Malas are made of 108 beads (or derivatives thereof - 18, 27, 36 or 54 would be acceptable numbers). Knots placed between the beads make it easy to handle and keep count of the number of mantras chanted during a meditation. The mala is made up of gemstones or beads that are meant to be infused with the energy that’s channeled into them through a mantra repetition. The guru bead is the bead that the tassel will attach directly to. The guru bead symbolizes the student-guru relationship and three more marker beads are placed around the mala at regular intervals. I was instructed to say an affirmation at each knot and when I finished, I took it to Stratford and it was washed in distilled water to cleanse the amazonite beads, and my friend the monk said a prayer over it.
I used sand polished matte amazonite beads to increase the tactility of the necklace, and knotted them with contrasting orange linen. On reading about amazonite on Crystal Vault, my go-to bible for such matters, I found that apart from being pretty the stone is also meant to have soothing properties. I invite you to use the link above if you want to read about it.
I must tell you a bit about the Guru and marker beads - they are made of hand carved Bodhi seeds from Tibet. They are carved into the shape of lotuses which are symbols of peace. The Bodhi tree, a central symbol in Buddhism, is a sort of fig tree under which the Buddha found enlightenment. I'd never seen Bodhi seeds before (I've never seen a Bodhi tree either) and was quite excited to find them on a website I was visiting when I was researching my Mala.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place - well, I'll be middair as you read next week's edition, and I'll endeavour to keep going with little snippets each week until I'm back home.
See you next week, then
Hello lovely folks, Happy New Year to you all. This year I wish that you all get your heart's desire, and that some of what your heart desires is found at Caprilicious - that would suit us both!
My New Years Eve was quiet and peaceful, I was on call and I cooked a pot full of pilau rice and Mike helped me carry it to the midwives and doctors at work, who have to stay in the hospital perforce and had planned a midnight feast. I sat at home sewing crystals onto a piece I had half made and temporarily abandoned at its fugly stage. I was determined to have a fresh piece to show off on the website on the first day of the year.
I think I've finally realised the direction I'm taking with Caprilicious - I'm well on the way to becoming an Occasionwear maker. Of course it depends on the wearer, and what they think is an 'occasion' that demands a piece of Caprilicious. I know ladies who wear my pieces effortlessly all day, every day.
However, I think I enjoy making the showy, highly embellished pieces of jewellery the most, and may well concentrate on them this year. And I think this is what makes Caprilicious so precious to me - it allows me to create things that make me happy and satisfy my soul. If I made jewellery to suit other peoples requirements I would end up in a second job, not in the beautiful cloud of creativity that surrounds me and floats me through the day until I can get back home to my tools.
This one has Shibori silk, crystals, embroidery with beads, a soutache piece, and the icing on the cake - dyed marabou feathers. I came across Shibori silk ribbon on a website I happened to be looking at and was smitten. It is silk ribbon, cut on the bias, and wound around a pipe in a circular fashion as shown. It is gathered into folds by first wrapping a silk cord around the tube and fabric tightly, making sure it is continuous. The fabric is scrunched together into little pleats under the cord and then dampened and dye allowed to seep into the silk. It sounds like a simple process, but isn't and that is reflected in the cost of the ribbon which is sold in lengths of 10 - 20 cms. It can be stretched out or used as is, in its scrunched up form.
I learned how to make petals from a woman who calls herself Shibori Girl and made three out of the orange silk that arrived first, and a ginkgo leaf out of the green silk - and wham, I ran out of ideas! The piece sat on a tray, and I saw it sitting there every day trying to attract my attention. To keep it from being too vocal, I applied myself to making other fairly complex pieces. "I just have to make these, and I'll come back to you", I reassured the poor, forlorn, fugly thing. I couldn't bear to admit to it, let alone myself, that I didn't know what to do with it. Eventually, I decided to pull the piece together with other elements - the soutache piece is really three pieces sewn together, with the feathers placed under it and eventually Fantasia came into being.
A 'ginkgo leaf' in Shibori dyed silk crowns the top of this pendant, embroidered with seed beads and freshwater pearls. A blue beaded Swarovski rivoli and crystals adorn the lower edge of the 'leaf'. The three plump shibori silk petals are placed to the bottom left of the pendant. A soutache piece in two layers nestles between the petals, and two dyed marabou feathers are attached securely beneath the soutache and crystals. Teardrop shaped crystals encased in soutache braiding shoot out of the main crystal and soutache piece like comets.
And then I got taken out to dinner on New Year's Day so I wore it. I think it looks great, and it is definitely flamboyant.
It was certainly noticed at the restaurant we went to, and a couple of strangers came up to me and took a card off me - yes I carry business cards everywhere! One of the ladies even got in touch and has ordered a piece of jewellery from me, so that's a result.
A friend of mine came round for a cup of tea and a chat - she's a consultant at the hospital in the next town and was on call - unfortunately she lives too far away to work from home and needs to stay in the hospital when on call, so when there was a lull in the proceedings she dropped round to see me. I persuaded her to try some of my jewellery on and we spent a happy hour or two taking pictures.
That's me for now, folks. Enjoy the coming week and I'll catch you next weekend , same place, same time.
p.s. Last couple of days for the Payday discount in case you fancy it - I will be travelling next month so although I might post a discount code order delivery is likely to be delayed until I get back, just so you know
Hello folks, how did your Christmas go? I hope you all had a load of fun, ate and drank yourselves silly and are now on the way to recovery, just in time for New Years Eve. Of course, if you did remember the reason why Christmas was originally celebrated for ten seconds, that's got to be a good thing, right?
Some of my Christmas day was spent at work, in the bosom of my work family. We cracked open bottles of non alcoholic champagne, ate chocolate and cake and handed around gifts - I made little earrings for all the midwives and health care support staff who were at work that day, the patients mostly had the courtesy to stay at home until they had had their Christmas dinner and only wandered in after the pudding was served and the Tiramisu decimated, so it was a fairly quiet day, and I was able to come home and cook our Christmas dinner, having prepped it beforehand.
Of Clouds and Silver Linings
The design for this pendant was by Nicole Hanna and after the really tricky ones I'd made recently, it was a doddle. I love the way the wire swoops into arcs, signifying rain clouds and I added blue crystal teardrops to signify rain, and two rows of very shiny crystal beads. A diamante studded outsize lobster clasp came into play and picked up the shiny theme - very Holidayish! It was picked up last week and will soon be on its way to its forever home.
As I had Boxing Day off, I hid out in my craft room and played with clay, veneers and bead making. The oven was on non stop all day while I ferried my trays full of beads back and forth.
The veneer on the left was made on raw clay with a layer of Kroma Krackle over copper acrylic paint, coloured with alcohol inks. Once it had dried, I made the beads in the picture above. I then coated them one by one with liquid clay and hit them with a heat gun. Strangely, the Kroma Krackle turned white when I painted it with liquid clay, but the colour came back as it cured under the heat gun, albeit a bit darker than before. The veneer acquired fine bubbles when the heat gun was applied - perhaps from the Kroma Krackle or even the thick layer of acrylic paint as the black beads without the veneer sheet were fine. I wish I'd had the courage not to use the liquid clay, but I felt the need to seal the beads with something other than varnish.
I have a series of pictures sent to me by one of my regular customers who decided that it was time one of her friends was introduced to Caprilicious Jewellery. I call it 'The Making of a Caprilicious Woman' - photographs were taken as the gift was unwrapped, the necklace tried on and the delight on the lady's face is a sight to behold, and she very graciously agreed that I could share them on my pages and on social media. I just had to share these pictures with you!
That's me for this week, folks. Have a fabulous week, and wonderful New Year's Eve celebrations (cue violins, I'm working again!) and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
P.S. here's the payday discount code I promised you - use it to pick up something interesting, the code is HelloJanuary and lasts till the 6th of January, 2019.
Hello good people, how are you. I hope you're all ready for Christmas and your chestnuts are roasting on an open fire (I've often wondered whether that was a euphemism for something else - if you know, do tell). I've been very busy at Caprilicious. This year I ran an offer on Instagram to wrap and deliver peoples presents and had quite a few takers. Some people even ordered custom made jewellery for their friends and I rushed about sending them photographs of various beads and supplies, made up the pieces once the 'ingredients' were agreed, gift wrapped and posted them out. A bit too busy for my liking, but I didn't disappoint anyone, so that's a positive.
Consequently, I have no tree or Christmas decorations up - all I have is a rather sad row of cards, which look so pathetic, I shall put them away on Boxing Day. I'm working on Christmas day, anyway, so we've kinda decided to have a very muted celebration this year. The tree in the picture is last years tree, but hey, who's checking up on me?
In the Still of the Night
As I made this necklace, we had the DVD of 'DeLovely' playing for the twentieth time. Mike and I are fans of Cole Porter and old American traditional jazz music. This one is one of my favourite songs from the movie, so poignant and wistful, and it seemed to suit this necklace perfectly. The little beads are onion briolettes - they are like plump little buds with a pointy top like an onion, and they are very colourful and pretty. The necklace would look great in the neckline of a strappy dress.
Designed by Nicole Hanna, this pendant is extremely complex, with miles of wire twisting and turning on itself, pleated and folded until my fingertips were sore, and my brain befuddled from reading the pattern. It took me four days to make, as I had to take frequent rest from the scratches and piercings inflicted on my poor hands by the sharp ends of the frame wire. I hung it on a simple necklace of faceted tiger eye beads that glow with an inner fire. Mike said it looked almost Russian when I finished it with tourmaline teardrops, thence the name.
I've been meaning to make earrings for the longest time and I hurled myself headlong into finding components and putting these together. I've decided I will cut out some very funky shapes and mix and match them with the metal components and have a bit of fun. I'll have a few more to show you after Christmas. I went out and bought a couple of glossy magazines and placed the earrings on images of a couple of particularly attractive young ladies, and I think the photos turned out rather well. See what you make of them.
I added simple stud findings as well as ornamental studs with their own clip backs, so that people like me with torn lobes from many years of ear lobe abuse can also wear them comfortably.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a wonderful Christmas, chill out on Boxing Day and get ready to party next week on New Year's Eve - bring out the violins, I'm working on that day too!!
Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, how are you. Only 11 days to the big day now and I have to say this year has been a bit bleah! I haven't been able to muster up the enthusiasm to bring the decorations up from the garden shed and now it seems like it is too late to even bother, as we'll be putting them away pretty soon. I'm working on Christmas day and New Years Eve so not much festive cheer in our house this holiday season. Still, rather than turn into the Grinch, I've been trying to make an effort to join in at the hospital.
I love Dragonflies, don't you? I love the shimmer of their wings as they zoom about their business and I make them over and over again, tirelessly. The latest one I made is called Dragonfly Dreams and made from a wire design by Nicole Hanna. I've made this one in the past, and I looked for pictures of the previous versions.
And here's this years iteration, Dragonfly Dreams..............
I even made a pair of earrings to go with the necklace.
I've been looking at the piece of embroidery I started, and it's still fugly! Nothing has changed!! Drat, I was hoping the embroidery fairy would have come by while I was asleep and done the needful, but no, it hasn't happened. To get away from it I bought three wire design tutorials and flung myself into a tangle of wire. I appear to have bought the most complicated ones I could find and my fingertips are shredded so badly that I've had to stop at regular intervals.
I was introduced to the poetry of Sanober Khan by a friend, and I fell in love. Little couplets, easy to read with a sweet wistfulness and some longer poems, all written eloquently, leaving you wanting to read more.
The malachite beads I used in the necklace look like little planets, I added seed pearls and a little box clasp and a very pretty necklace was born. Gratifyingly, someone else thought so and she picked it up almost straight away
I started on the second tutorial, and boy! this one's ever so difficult with twists and turns over and over, it's taken me a couple of days to get halfway through it. I'm having to stop ever so often to rest my poor fingers. I honestly think this one is one of the most difficult I've ever made, but it will be rewarding once it is done.
That's me for this week folks. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place.
Hello folks, aww, you came back for another peek at Caprilicious, thank you so much. It's been lovely to have you around all year. Before you go any further let me remind you that the Caprilicious payday giveaway is on for a couple of days more, until the 8th, so you still have a chance to grab those presents ( all for yourself, right? - I totally agree, you do deserve a treat!)
I can see the Christmas clock ticking away relentlessly in the sidebar - only eighteen days to go, it says. If you need some help, I'll take the pain of Christmas shopping away for you, I'll pack it, gift wrap and post out for you with a little card, you only have to say the word.
Do remember the Christmas post dates, please. I'd hate for you to be disappointed. Get your parcels out on time and all will be well. Last year, I had a flurry of parcels on the last postal day and I was up late into the night with ribbon and tape and wrapping paper and Michael went off in the morning to post the parcels looking like Santa himself with a sackful of gifts!
This week once again was all about wire. I've come to the end of two reels of wire, one kilogram of copper each, silver plated, and then coated in nylon to prevent a build up of tarnish. I love this nylon coated wire, and it has been a best seller for Caprilicious. Unfortunately it means that I cannot give my pieces the fancy patinas that are so fashionable today, but tarnished silver plated wire looks so ugly, I've had to get over that disappointment quickly. Also, the nylon coating means that I have to be very gentle and even handed with the wire. If I don't pay it sufficient attention, and the pliers slip, it leaves a gouge mark in the nylon which is very unsightly - I've got used to manipulating it almost completely with my fingers and using the pliers to coax it into place and to tuck the ends away at the very finish.
Anyway, I've got about three feet of 18 gauge wire left to use up next week before I can unpack my new reels from the wire company.
The pendant design is from a tutorial by Nicole Hanna - I've made it before, ages ago after I won it in a 'Finish It' competition she ran on her website. "What's a 'Finish it' competition", you ask? Nicole writes a tutorial, and sends out only half of it to those who enter. She allows the entrants to finish it any way they choose. She's always complimentary and very encouraging, even if you mangle her tutorial into an unrecognisable mess, and gives everyone who enters the full tutorial, and additionally there's a prize for the best design.
The necklace in the picture above was made after a visit to the Newmarket bead show where I bought that rather funky hand blown glass focal bead. The polymer clay colourful beads in the necklace are hollow and bright, made from a technique taught by Orly Fuchs Galen and I thought the piece was very vibrant and circus like, so I called it 'Trapeze'.
This time, I chose a more sombre palette, inspired by a picture I took early one morning of the park across the road. A slab nugget of blue/black agate, titanium coated druzy and Czech hand cut glass beads were pulled out of the stash and I'm sure you'll agree that this piece is very different from the last one. The original lives in India where the owner bought it because the necklace was 'funky'. This one was picked up a couple of days after I posted it on Instagram.
I worked on the wire left on the reel almost manically, trying to end it. The more I made, it seemed like there was even more left to use. I sat in front of the TV, fingers flying, cackling and muttering incantations to myself, cursing the reel of wire under my breath. My fingertips are numb and shredded by the fine wire which cuts into the pulp. Now that my ordeal is over and I've thrown the plastic core away, it seems so crazy, but at the time, I was determined that I would see the end of the reel. I made as many pairs of earrings as I could, after all it will soon be Christmas and there will be gifts I need to put together. I am working on Christmas day and I usually take in a grab bag of little bits for all the poor midwives and doctors who have had to give up their day for the greater good. I can announce proudly that I have finished the 20 Gauge wire, and have the dregs of the second reel of 18G - hopefully I can finish that one off by the end of next week, although 18G is thicker and more difficult to manipulate, and hence less fun to play with, calling for simple designs. As you can see, I haven't had time to put ear wires on them and have taken a few quick pictures with my phone for this blog post.
That's me for this week folks. I've started a piece of embroidered jewellery incorporating this strip of ribbon. Just now it is at the fugly stage and it is tempting to just put it aside and go back to the wire. In my experience embroidered pieces usually go through this stage and need a bit of perseverance, so I shall force myself to go back to it although just now the fugliness of it is very off putting.
Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Good Golly, Miss Molly! Only 25 days to Christmas!! How did that happen?? I wasn't looking and it snuck up on me. Oh well, we don't do cards anymore, so that's one thing I don't have to worry about. I just need to get a few pressies for people at work and that will be me done. Fortunately, Mike and I don't celebrate with gifts etc, just food and drink, so I don't have to look for something for him.
Just a reminder of Christmas last domestic post dates:-
Tuesday 18 December
The weekend saw us in Hampton Manor at the show organised by Mitchell Arts. It was part of the Christmas Fayre at the Manor and plenty of people were in attendance. I think it went well, and Toni and Tom of Mitchell Arts were smiling at the end of the day.
This week was all about wire. I bought a large roll of 20 gauge wire - a whole Kg of it a couple of years ago, and it is now running out, I can see the plastic spool. I already have a replacement spool, so wanted to see how many pieces I can make with the wire left on the old one. Also, I have a few tutorials I picked up along the way and thought this would be a good time to play with them. Quite a few are by Nicole Hanna - she writes very clear, explicit instructions, and as long as I remember to cut myself a bit more wire than she suggests, the jewellery turns out beautifully. I have quite a few tutorials for 'advanced wire skills' and even a couple for 'very advanced wire skills', so I pulled them up on my ipad and got on with a couple.
This is one for the very advanced weaver - fortunately I didn't see that before I started, or I might have been a bit intimidated. The piece involves twelve base wires and an element of mirroring that I had to work out and what seemed like hundreds of twists and turns and little curlicues. At last it was done and I strung it simply on a necklace of faceted teardrop shaped Czech fire polished beads. My fingertips were numb by the time I was through, but the pendant made up for it. A little teardrop shaped box clasp was a perfect ending to this lovely piece. I posted it on Instagram and it was snapped up even before I could post it on this website!!
I always wanted to try a design that could set a tall, thin stone and remembered that I had a tutorial for one of these pendants. Next time I will try the design with a quartz needle, I think.
This one was designed by Donna Spadafore and I've made it a few times. I love the curls and twists that hug the side of the 'stone' - the central piece in this one is a vintage broken brooch. I spent a while replacing the missing stones, filing down the broken brooch finding on the back so it wouldn't be scratchy on the skin and getting it ready to turn into a pendant, and here it is.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
P.S - before I forget, here's the code for this month's payday discount.
OHAPPYDAY! is the code and it is valid until the 8th of December. Happy shopping, and get all your Christmas presents in while you can, you have enough time to do it.
Hello folks, hope all is well with you and thanks for joining me today. I feel like I'm in party mode with Diwali jut gone and just over 30 days to Christmas. I've had a few days off from work and am feeling rejuvenated and revived - with me it's a case of a rest is as good as a change! I enjoy a good knees up and even though I'm no longer the party animal I once was, the start of the holiday season always perks me up.
This piece was made over the course of many many weeks as I made little bead circles around Swarovski Rivolis and put them away in a little box. When I thought I had enough, I put them together, although I soon realised I needed more, but had run out of the RIvolis. I had to wait a while till fresh supplies arrived, and then finally, after ages and ages I was ready to put them together. I set them into various shapes on a tray and took photographs of each one. I finally decided on the correct configuration and made the pendant up, then added a hand made chain of multicolour crystals and Arriba! the piece was ready. It reminds me of fiestas and carnivals, piñatas, sombreros and mardi gras - what more can I say?
Charles Venn danced to La Bamba last weekend as I sewed the piece together and I thought his dance epitomised the feelings evoked by this necklace.
The last picture shows the back of the necklace, all neatly covered by ultrasuede, to give a professional finish to the piece. Each circle is edged with seed beads and the whole piece is very joyful and fun. The chain allows the piece to be adjusted up or down and I am very proud of this one.
I've had these kiwi green aventurine beads in my stash for over a year and decided to make a piece with them - and I've never had so much trouble with a necklace. I made it up with a bunch of diamante spacer bars, but though it looked great, it refused to sit quietly and gracefully around the neck. It kept twisting around on itself like an impatient and irritating child squirming around in a chair. I cut it up, and changed the beads to the pretty four leaf clovers and it seemed fine, so I took it out to the conservatory and got some photographs and posted them online. As soon as I posted the pictures, the necklace was picked up by a young lady as a gift for her friend. Both of them are long term clients and I wanted to be sure that it was perfect for them.
I decided that there was one bead too many between the spacers in one of the strings, so repaired that, and then had to adjust another, and yet another until there were just too many adjustments and the necklace was no longer viable. I sat through the night, remaking the necklace to my satisfaction up until 4am and finally it was done, packed and ready for posting out before I went to bed.
Amalia is a cocktail based on kiwi fruit, devised by Michael Rousseau in honour of his mother in Four Seasons Hotel, Mexico. Amalia was also the name of the wife of Don Facundo Bacardi who founded the Bacardi company with his creation of the first light bodied rum with the unique quality of smoothness, in the 19th century.
Amalia - the recipe
1/2 Kiwi Fruit
50mls of Bacardi White rum
30 mls of Elderflower Cordial
15 mls freshly squeezed lime juice
5 sprigs of mint
50 mls of ginger ale
It certainly sounds good, perhaps one of you will try it out and let me know if it's as good as the necklace named after it.
The black ceramic beads were calling out to be used and I finally relented. The pendant is designed by Nicole Hanna, and is one of her most difficult, verging on the point of sadistic, designs. There were nine of the thicker base wires, approximately a foot long each, and they were bound together with a very fine wire. The process went on and on, until I was squinting desperately at it, begging it to end, but no, there were some more wires that needed to be woven and moved in one direction or another. And then finally it was done, the last wire anchored, the last piece of binding wire trimmed. My fingers ached and burned, but there was a feeling of pleasure deep inside, a feeling of achievement which was wonderful.
Caprilicious exhibits at Hampton Manor this week with Mitchell Galleries and I will go along on Sunday to take a look as I don't have to do any of the work apart from turn up and look good.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a lovely week and I'll catch you next Friday.
Hello, my lovelies, thanks for joining me again today. I hope you've all had a good week - I have been preparing for my annual appraisal at work, and attending various yearly statutory and mandatory training without which my paperwork cannot be signed off. This has meant a relatively easy week at work and I've had time to play with beads and baubles.
On last weeks blog I told you about the pendant I had begun to make around a focal of jasper Intarsia. I finished it during the week and proceeded to make up the necklace using a string of Sea Urchin spines in my stash.
Sea urchins are found on rocky shores and shallow, sandy areas as well as coral reefs. They have a globe shaped body that is covered with large number of long spines. Bony plates form the shell that provides protection for the soft inner parts. They hide in the crevices of rocks and reefs during the daytime, and at night, they wander out to feed on floating food particles and algae. A sea urchin’s spines are its first line of defense. The length and sharpness of an urchin’s spines vary from species to species. Some species have stubby, blunt spines, while other species have long, sharp, venom-filled spines.
The roe of the sea urchins, called Uni are edible and are a delicacy eaten raw as sushi and sashimi.
I love the spines, once cleaned and turned into beads they are hollow and light, and tinkle gently when they move. They have a fairly tribal look when strung into a necklace, but I wanted to soften that effect by adding some colour to the piece.
The Intarsia pendant stone looked like a seascape to me and I decided to make a triangular pendant with a beaded beach scene with sand and sea, and long fronds of beaded 'coral' with loads of colour, textural interest and shimmery movement, and hang it on a strand of sea urchin spines.
There was almost half a strand of sea urchin spine beads left over and I had a flash of inspiration - I took the dull, matte brown spines and jazzed them up with loops of chain and shiny titanium coated quartz and crystals. I was inspired to do this by a photograph I took of the beach opposite the hotel when we were in Nice a few years ago. The chain represents the moonlight rippling over the waves. I love the contrast it makes. What do you think??
Plage La Nuit
The Intarsia Seascape pendant was a delight to make, with its coral fronds and beaded texture, and it took ages to put together. I've also been putting together a number of beaded circles, of different sizes, around Swarovski Rivolis, a bit like a little old lady knitting patchwork squares for a quilt. I arranged them on a tray and started to connect them invisibly. I will have a necklace made up with my patchwork circles next week. I can't wait to see how it turns out, that's half the fun of an unplanned piece.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place,